Work begins on mixed-use Trail Side on Mass Ave

February 24, 2011
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Trail Side on Mass AveConstruction began this week on Trail Side on Mass Ave, a four-story apartment and retail project by Riley Area Development Corp and Monument Realty. The $10-million project will feature 11,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, and 69 one-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, along with an underground parking garage. Funding came from multiple sources including Housing and Urban Development, Indianapolis Housing Agency, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, National Bank of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Alliant Capital. The architect is A2SO4. The project is slated for completion by the spring of 2012. An earlier rendering of the project is available here. What do you think?

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  • Love It
    Great project; would have been better if the corrupt Center Township office would have sold the land.....

    Hopefully we see more great community projects like these and NOT North of South.
  • low income
    I like the design of the building and it is great to see this site being developed.
    However I don't get the need for creating more low income housing in this area. The Barton towers are just next door and there are already so many low income or even no income people in Downtown. Sorry, but there are people with quite a bit of income that cannot afford to live on Mass Avenue. Why should subsidized housing be on the best spot in town? How about building some low income housing in Carmel or Fishers?
    • Affordable Housing
      ElSchmido -

      There are affordable housing projects in both Carmel in Fishers. The reason it seems like there are so many more in Indianapolis is due to our size and need......roughing 850,000 in Indianapolis, 60,000 in Fishers.
      Not to mention this is a mixed use building unlike Barton Towers. This will have both lower income and market rate apartments.
    • A lot of the funding for this project in these bad economic times is federal for the lower income housing.

      Well managed, these can be an asset and not a bad thing. it takes all economic types to make a neighborhood truly diverse. And hopefully these apartments can give lower income folks the chance to better themselves.
      • Affordable housing facts
        "Low income housing" as used in the Trail Side development means this: The apts are set aside for those who earn 60% or less of the median income (in Marion County). For a 1-person household this equals about $35,000/yr. The rents are capped at 30% of that income. About 85% of Center Township residents fall into that income range. This is housing for the majority, not the minority (income-wise).
      • Affordable
        To correct indyguy's comment above: the income limit is $28,620 (60% of the AMI for one person). There are lots of jobs in that range downtown (hospitality, dining, retail, health care support).

      • Section 8 vs. Section 42
        The Barton Apartments are Section 8 housing, which is a whole different beast from Trailside, which utilizes Section 42. While yes, you could consider it "subsidized" the renter needs to be making money, as Thundermutt and indyguy showed. It really is a good thing, and it gets more people downtown. People who do have incomes, but might not be able to to afford $1200 rents.
      • Interesting
        The design has nice massing and looks like it should fit on Mass Ave. The two obvious things I would change: 1) The central mass has a relatively weak presence. I think it still works but it could be improved; and 2) The horizontal siding needs to go - period. I would replace it with stucco or a similar uniform finish. Siding never really "works" visually when used in this setting.

        Regarding Section 42, this simply means that the people making your coffee, selling you jewelry and mixing your cocktails when you shop Mass Ave get to live close to work. Don't read too much into it. We've all been there ourselves at some point.
      • Looks great
        I think the building looks great and will be a terrific fit. I have no problems with the income guidelines for the building. Think how many artists and musicians and others fit into that category!
      • good work
        Nice work A2SO4..

        MDB, what are you talking about..."stucco"...too many people use stucco around here to get by cheap...nice texture developed by using the siding I think works great with the context.
      • NIMBY again
        If you're worried about lower income folks having access to an attractive, convenient area maybe you should move to the Village of West Clay or Geist.
      • Good revision
        The change to the roof line was needed, but the windows could be dressed-up a bit.
      • NIMBYISM AT IT"S BEST
        EIS: Please get your facts right before claiming what many NIMBYITES suggest---that the world would be perfect if we all just lived in over-priced condos vs. well designed affordable dwellings. Seriously!? You are going to compare Barton Tower to the Trailside? Idiotic if you ask me. There is a reason all of your condos are being converted into affordable apartments. Do you know what the difference between affordable and low income is? And where do you live? NIMBYVILLE?? I can't wait for the day where 75% of all cookie cutter neighborhoods of FI-TOWN start crumbling into ghettos...because that's how much these 'new/expensive' homes will be worth...1/2 of the perceived value. Please, if you are questioning the Trailside development...stay away from downtown! Have FUN!!
      • Low Income
        I would back off attacking ElSchmido. It appears he confused "low-income" tenants with those who rely on assistance for nearly all expenses.

        The income restriction rules for Trailside seem very appropriate - and this program is not uncommonly used. Mass Ave and downtown should be an incubator for talented professionals who are earning less while in school, starting at a new job, or are self-emplyed (including the arts) and will experience some intial lean years.
      • Affordable housing=good investment
        This is an area that is beginning to appeal to the young, which would not be able to afford to live on Mass Ave without the affordable housing option. This can help attract more young professionals to downtown and eventually may help feed the need for more offices to be located downtown.
      • More Retail Space
        Its no secret that I am in Commercial Real Estate. From my prospective it is going to add even more value to the retail space that already exists in mass ave. I love seeing new buildings go up that truly better communities. I firmly believe this will be one of them. Look forward to seeing the finished product.
      • mmm . . . okay
        Happy to see the commercial space. Hopefully this isn't too far up the street to attract shops and people.

        Considering the general rule that final products are less attractive than their renderings, my early reaction is this building will be drab and certainly not in the running for any Excellence in Affordable Housing Design award. Maybe it is the siding. A change in siding color from grey might help (and would add $0 to the price). Maybe interesting windows would help - at least ones that don't look like the sliding plexiglass door to my backyard. I don't know, it doesn't need to be award-winning (though I'm not against trying), but this project seems so close to being "really nice," but settles for "mmm . . . okay."
      • taxes?
        Does anyone know if the project will be paying property taxes? Improved property values help Center Township as much as providing affordable housing for people who work in the area.
      • Thank you
        I could not agree with you anymore. I understand the politics side with credits and such...but come on...why so many low income properties? Indianapolis seems to be not be thinking long-term. These are not the tenants you want to encourage to live in the area.

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      1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

      2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

      3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

      4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

      5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

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